Nabonidus 01

Column i
i 1i 1

dAG-na-ʾi-id LUGAL TIN.TIR.KI NUN na-a-du

(i 1) Nabonidus, king of Babylon, attentive prince, the shepherd who provides, the one who is constantly attentive to the will of the gods, the wise (and) pious one, the one who constantly seeks out the shrines of the great gods, most befitting warrior, creation of the sage of the gods the god Marduk product of the goddess Erua creator of all rulers selected by the god Nabû the heir of Esagil who controls (cosmic) harmony creation of the god Ninšiku the (all-)knowing creator of everything chosen by the god Nannāru the lord of the crown who makes astrological signs known the one who strives every day (to show) devotion to the great gods (and) whose mind is focused on provisioning Esagil and Ezida, son of Nabû-balāssu-iqbi, wise prince, am I.

i 22

re-é-a-am za-ni-nu šá a-na ṭe₄-em DINGIR.MEŠ pu-tuq-qu

i 33

e-em- mu-ut--en-nu-ú mu--te---ú -ra-a- DINGIR.MEŠ GAL.MEŠ

i 44

eṭ-lu šu-us-su-mu bi-nu-ut ABGAL DINGIR.MEŠ dAMAR.UTU

i 55

na-ab-ni-it dE₄.RU₆ ba-na-a-ta gi-mir ma-al-ku

i 66

i-ti-it dMU.Ú.A.TI a-pil é-sag-íl sa-niq mit-ḫur-1

i 77

bi-nu-tu dnin-ši- mu-du-ú ba-nu-ú ka-la-ma

i 88

ni-bi-it dŠEŠ.KI-ri be-lu a-gi-i mu-kal-li-im ṣa-ad-du

i 99

ša u₄-mi-šam-ma -te---ú pu-luḫ-tu₄ DINGIR.MEŠ GAL.MEŠ

i 1010

a-na zi-in-na-a-ti é-sag-íl ù é-zi-da

i 1111

ba-ša-a uz-na-a-šu

i 1212

DUMU mdna-bi-um-ba-lat-su-iq-bi NUN e-em- a-na-ku

i 1313

URU .DINGIR.RA.KI a-na dam-qa-a-ti -te---e

(i 13) I constantly seek out the city of Babylon for good deeds. I increase gifts to Esagil, the palace of the great gods; I abundantly supply everything to Ezida, the mountain of life; (and) I lavishly provide abundance to Emeslam, the temple of the hero of the gods.

i 1414

a-na é-sag-íl É.GAL DINGIR.MEŠ GAL.MEŠ šu--ra-ku IGI.-e

i 1515

a-na é-zi-da šá-ad ba-la-ṭu mim-ma šum-šu du--šá-ku

i 1616

šá é-mes-lam É qar-ra-du DINGIR.MEŠ ṭú-uḫ-ḫu-da-ak ḫi-iṣ-bi

i 1717

ì-nu-šu im-gur-dEN.LÍL BÀD .DINGIR.RA.KI

(i 17) At that time, (with regard to) Imgur-Enlil, the wall of Babylon, its foundations had become shaky, its walls had buckled, its superstructure was tottering, and it had no support.

i 1818

-da-a-šu i-nu-šu-ma i-qu-pu i-ga-ru-šu2

i 1919

re-e-ši-šu it-ru-ur-ma --et-ta la i-ši

i 2020

BÀD šu-a-ti <ana> du-un-nu-nim-ma --et-ta šu-úr-ši-i

(i 20) <In order to> strengthen that wall and give (it) support, I removed the buckled sections of its wall (lit. “its buckled walls”). (As for) Imgur-Enlil, the wall of Babylon, the boundary (with a length) of 20 (7,200 m), the eternal boundary marker, the plan of stability, the firmly-founded border, the wide-stretching ground plan, the strong shield that bolts (Babylon) before enemies, the foremost cult center on which people rely, I strengthened its foundation(s), made (them) firm like mountains, and (then) I raised its high parts up like mountain(s), (and) made it as secure as a great mountain. I established it as an object of wonder.

i 2121

i-ga-ru-šu qu-up-pu-tim ad-ke-e-ma

i 2222

BÀÍL BÀD .DINGIR.RA.KI ku-du-ur-ru .20.TA.A3 4

i 2323

pu-lu-uk-ku da-ru-ú ú-ṣur- ki-na-a-ta5

i 2424

mi-ṣi-ir šu-úr-šu-du ki-sur-ra-a šu-un-du-lu

i 2525

tu-uk-šu da-núm e-di-il pa-ni a-a-bi6

Column ii
ii 1ii 1

ma-ḫa-za re--tu-ú tuk-la-tu₄ ba-ú-la-a-ti i-ši-id-su

ii 22

ú-da-an-ni-in ki-ma kin--e ú-pat-tin-ma

ii 33

ša-da-ni- ú-zaq--ir -la-a-šu

ii 44

úḫu-mi- ú-šar-ši-id-su* a-na tab-ra-a- -ták-kan-šu

ii 55

ši-ṭi-ir šu-mi šá LUGAL maḫ-ri šá -reb-šu ap-pal-su7

(ii 5) (As for) an inscription bearing the name of a former king that I had discovered inside (it), I firmly placed (it) inside it (Imgur-Enlil) forever with an inscription bearing my name.

ii 66

it-ti ši-ṭi-ir šu-mi-ia qer-ba-šu ú-ki-in a-na ṣa-a-

ii 77

dEN.LÍL DINGIR.MEŠ dAMAR.UTU šá -bit-su ki-na-at

(ii 7) O Enlil of the gods, Marduk, whose command is reliable, (divine) lord, sage of the gods, supreme hero, look with pleasure upon this work (of mine) so that whatever I have built stays in good repair and endures in your presence.

ii 88

be-lu ap-kal-lu₄ DINGIR.MEŠ šu-úr-bu-ú qu-ra-du

ii 99

ši-ip-ri šu-a-ti ḫa-di- nap-lis-ma

ii 1010

mi-im-mu-ú e-te-ep-pu-šu li-bur-ma

ii 1111

li-ku-un ma-ḫa-ar-ka

ii 1212

šu-ri-ik UD.MEŠ ba-la-ṭi-ia lu--ba-a lit-tu-tu

(ii 12) Prolong the days of my life so that I may be sated with old age. May I have no rival. Cut down my enemies so that I may exercise the shepherdship of all (four) quarters (of the world and) rule over the entirety of the black-headed (people), all humankind; may I shepherd all of them for eternity.

ii 1313

a-a ar-šá-a šá-ni-na šu-um--it a-a-bi-ia

ii 1414

lu-pu- re-é-ú-si-na šá ka-li- kib-ra-a-ti

ii 1515

nap-ḫar ṣal-mat SAG.DU gi-mir te--še-e-ti

ii 1616

lu-be-el a-na da--a-ti lu-re-ʾe-e na-gab-šu-un

ii 1717

LUGAL.MEŠ a-ši-ib pa-rak-ku

(ii 17) (As for) the kings who sit on (royal) dais(es), wherever they drink spring water, may I impose (my) scepter upon them (and) exercise dominion over them.

ii 1818

ša *-ta*-na-at-tu-ú -e nag-bi8

ii 1919

e-li-šu-nu lu-ki-in GIŠ.NÍG.GIDRU lu-pu- be-lu-su-un

ii 2020

be-lu pa-li-iḫ-ka i-lab-bi-ir a-na da--a-ti

(ii 20) The lord who reveres you will live for eternity (and) he will increase (his) vigor; his name will be important.

ii 2121

uṣ-ṣa-ab ba-la-ṭu

ii 2222

i-ba-ʾi-il šu-um-šu

ii 2323

a-na-ku lu-ú LUGAL za-nin-ku

(ii 23) May I be the king who provides for you (and) the one who constantly seeks out your place (of worship) for eternity.

ii 2424


ii 2525

-ri-ka a-na da--a-ti

1i-ti-it “selected by”: The expected form is itût, not itīt. For other references to the vowel change of u to i in the inscriptions of Nabonidus, see Schaudig, Inschriften Nabonids p. 129. sa-niq mit-ḫur- “who controls (cosmic) harmony”: Ex. 1 (collation from the photograph on CDLI) clearly has sa-niq, not ÍL (as copied in Legrain, PBS 15 pl. 33 no. 80). It is unclear if ex. 2 (Al-Rawi, ARRIM 9 [1991] pp. 5–8 and fig. 4) has ÍL or sa-niq since there is a discrepancy between F.N.H. Al-Rawi’s copy and transliteration; the copy, which has ÍL, is tentatively assumed here to be wrong.

2-da-a-šu i-nu-šu-ma i-qu-pu i-ga-ru-šu “its foundations had become shaky, its walls had buckled”: Ex. 2 has DAL.BA.AN.NA .GAL dAMAR.UTU ù .GAL dza-ba₄-ba₄ “between the Gate of the god Marduk and the Gate of the god Zababa.” Based on this variant, H. Schaudig (Inschriften Nabonids p. 76 §I.7.d) thinks that this might refer to an earlier phase of the restoration of Babylon’s wall, which was carried out only between the Marduk and Zababa Gates. Ex. 3 has [DAL.BA.AN.NA .GAL dAMAR.UTU] ù .GAL dza-ba₄-ba₄ / [-da-a-šu i-nu-šu-ma] i-qu-up-pu i-ga-ru-šu “[between the Gate of the god Marduk] and the Gate of the god Zababa, its foundations had become shaky, its walls had buckled” and, thus, is likely an intermediary version of the text.

3Compare the description of Nabopolassar’s renovation of Babylon’s inner wall Imgur-Enlil, which is known from A Babylon 11 ii 6–iii 10 (Da Riva, SANER 3 pp. 94–95), especially ii 8–12, which have im-gur-dEN.LÍL BÀD ra-ba-a šá ba-bi-lim.KI BULUG reš-ta-a šá -tu ṣa-a-tim šu-pu-ú ki-sur-ra-a šu-úr-šu-du ša la-bar du-úr UD.MEŠ ki-in-na-a zaq-ru šá šit-nu-nu šá-ma-mi tuk-šu dan-nu e-di-il pi-i KUR a-a-bi “Imgur-Enlil — the great wall of Babylon, the original boundary marker which has been manifest since the distant past, the firmly-founded ground plan that has endured for all eternity, the high mountain that rivals the heavens, the strong shield that bolts the entrance to the land of enemies.”

4.20.TA.A “20 UŠ (7,200 m)”: is a unit measuring length, but its precise linguistic interpretation is uncertain since the sections of the lexical series Ea (Tablet VI) and Aa dealing with are missing. According to M. Powell (RLA 7/5–6 [1989] pp. 459 and 465–467 § I.2k), one equals 6 ropes, 12 ṣuppu, 60 nindan-rods, 120 reeds, and 720 cubits, that is, approximately 360 m. According to this inscription of Nabonidus, Imgur-Enlil measured .20.TA.A “20 UŠ,” which would be approximately 7,200 m (= 360 m × 20). A. George (BTT pp. 135–136) has demonstrated that the actual length of Imgur-Enlil in the Neo-Babylonian period was 8,015 m.

5ki-na-a-ta “stability”: The reading of the first sign as KI, rather than TE, is confirmed from collation of ex. 1 (CBS 16108); note that Al-Rawi’s copy of ex. 2 (A Babylon 10) also clearly has KI. The confusion in scholarly literature stems from Legrain’s copy of CBS 16108 in PBS 15 (pl. 33 no. 80), where the sign could be read as either TE or KI; this misreading is followed by the CAD (see CAD U p. 291b), despite the correct reading in Schaudig, Inschriften Nabonids (p. 347).

6tu-uk-šu da-núm e-di-il pa-ni a-a-bi “the strong shield that bolts (Babylon) before enemies”: Compare A Babylon 11 ii 12 (Da Riva, SANER 3 pp. 94–95), which has tuk-šu dan-nu e-di-il pi-i KUR a-a-bi “the strong shield that bolts the entrance to the land of enemies.”

7LUGAL maḫ-ri “a former king”: It is certain that the unnamed former king is none other than Nabopolassar. The identification is based on the fact that ex. 2 (A Babylon 10) was discovered in a clay foundation box together with two cylinders of Nabopolassar: A Babylon 11 and A Babylon 12. For details on the discovery, see Abdul-Razak, Sumer 35 (1979) p. 116 and Al-Rawi, Iraq 47 (1985) p. 8; and, for editions of the two Nabopolassar inscriptions, see Da Riva, SANER 3 pp. 50–54 (ex. 2) and 93–104.

8ša *-ta*-na-at-tu-ú -e nag-biwherever they drink spring water”: Literally “who drink spring water.” The translation provided here tentatively follows H. Schaudig (Inschriften Nabonids p. 350 “wo immer sie ihr Wasser trinken mögen”). This passage seems to imply that (remote) minor rulers, men who drank from (distant) fresh water springs, were subordinate to Nabonidus.

Created by Frauke Weiershäuser and Jamie Novotny, 2015-20, for the Munich Open-access Cuneiform Corpus Initiative (MOCCI), a corpus-building initiative funded by LMU Munich, the Henkel Foundation, and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (through the establishment of the Alexander von Humboldt Chair for Ancient History of the Near and Middle East), and and based at the Historisches Seminar - Abteilung Alte Geschichte of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. The annotated edition is released under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license 3.0. Please cite this page as